NFL Hot Seat Update: Gauging Every Head Coach After Week 8

Ryan RiddleCorrespondent IOctober 29, 2012

NFL Hot Seat Update: Gauging Every Head Coach After Week 8

0 of 32

    When you consider the average tenure of an NFL head coach is only about 3.25 years, it's clear that things change fast in this league. That is why this Hot Seat needs to be updated every week.

    In honor of the midseason mark of the NFL, two new status updates have become available in order to demonstrate the heightened severity of coaches and their livelihood. 

    Here's a temperature reading—now bottoming out with "On Fire" and progressing to "Hot" to "Warm" to "Room Temperature" to "Cool" to "Cozy" and finally "Get this man an Extension"—for every head coach in the NFL.

    Enjoy the slideshow.

Chan Gailey

1 of 32

    Last Week: Hot

    After Week 8: Hot 

    Not much changes for Chan Gailey and the Bills during a bye week.  

    Fourth-quarter losses always hurt the most, and that’s exactly the type of pain Gailey must deal with as he attempts to get the all-too-familiar taste out of his mouth from Week 7. Even though the Bills barely lost, falling 35-34 to the Titans, they still have to deal with another defeat.

    Gailey was Hot two weeks ago—despite coming off an upset victory against the Cardinals—due to his team's propensity for embarrassing blowout losses. Coach Gailey's revamped defense has been a glaring disappointment, so much so that it’s likely to cost him his job by season’s end.

    Buffalo fans won't tolerate these performances for long, considering the higher-than-normal expectations heading into the 2012 season. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear likely that he will escape the Hot Seat from here on out, but miracles do happen.

Jason Garrett

2 of 32

    Last Week: Hot

    After Week 8: On Fire

    Coach Garrett made things harder for himself and the Cowboys, falling behind to the G-men 23-0 early, which all but decided the game before halftime. But just as the Giants seemed to have the game in hand, quarterback Tony Romo led Dallas back by scoring 24 unanswered points.

    Unfortunately for Garrett and the Cowboys, they eventually blew what was to be one of the greatest comebacks in franchise history.

    Three plays to get one yard and the #Cowboys can't get it. Horrible play calling. And two passes off the fingertips of receivers.

    — Josh Zerkle (@PUNTE) October 28, 2012

     

    Garrett seems to be lacking certain leadership qualities, and he doesn’t appear suited to manage or control his highly paid athletes, who are fully equipped with high expectations and temperamental dispositions.

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has made it clear what the expectations are for the Cowboys this season; frankly, a 3-4 record just won’t cut it. At the moment, Garrett is the skipper of a sinking ship, and Jones will need to find someone to blame, considering he won't fire himself.

    Garrett does shoulder a great deal of responsibility for the poor play in Big D, and he may not make it to the end of the season. Perhaps it's time to leave the head-coaching duties to a guy who can stand up to Jones.

Joe Philbin

3 of 32

    Last Week: Room Temperature

    After Week 8: Cool

    Most people agree that Philbin has done a much better job than most expected. For that, he should get some credit. The Dolphins are finding ways to win the close ones, and Philbin has his first winning streak as head coach, which has now extended to three games.

    Even with some growing pains from rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the Fins have managed to go 4-3. Patience may not be a luxury Philbin can afford when you consider the tension building since Bill Parcells took a less active role as a consultant and general manager Jeff Ireland assumed full command in September 2010.

    Lack of success on the field and an inability to recruit key free agents have put Ireland on a short leash. Luckily, things are looking up in Miami, and success has finally found its way to South Beach.

    Philbin's status is Cool for the first time after a decisive victory over the Jets. Will he be able to maintain and build off the success, or will the Dolphins come crashing back down to reality?

    This might sound crazy, but Joe Philbin, Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins may actually be a playoff team this year.

Tom Coughlin

4 of 32

    Last Week: Cool

    After Week 8: Cool

    The Giants improved to 6-2 Sunday thanks to some lucky breaks and early-game success. Coughlin’s mantra to his players heading into the season was “build a bridge”—that is, take the momentum and lessons learned from last year’s Super Bowl run and carry them over into 2012.

    So far, the Giants have done a great job embracing his message, as they continue to separate from the rest of the NFC East.

    I know many of you out there might be wondering how Tom Coughlin can win two Super Bowls in the last five years and not be Cozy by now. Well, given his age (66) and questionable history with player relations, he will need another deep march into the playoffs for that status to be warranted.

    Not having the team's more high-profile individuals backing you up to the media or front office if the losses begin to mount, can spell a quick departure.

    Also, Coughlin is no spring chicken, and the trend seems to be going toward younger head coaches. Coughlin also has the added pressure of the New York media spotlight. And when that glaring light is shining down on a .585 win percentage as the Giants head coach, that could be a cause for concern—and, at the least, a preventative for a Cozy status.

    To put things into perspective, Andy Reid has won 60 percent of his games as head coach, yet is on the verge of being sent packing.

Bill Belichick

5 of 32

    Last Week: Cozy

    After Week 8: Get this Man an Extension

    After destroying the Rams in a tiresome trip across the Atlantic, Belichick has been awarded the highest coaching status available. This status has just been made available at the midway point of the season, and he is easily deserving of it.

    New England is 5-3 and in sole possession of first place in the AFC East, and my words from Week 1 are just as applicable today, so I'll post them again: No coach in the NFL has more job security than Bill Belichick.

    He likely will coach the Patriots for as long as he wishes. The man we often see tucked away in his hoodie on the sidelines has complete control over the football operations in New England and sets the bar for all other active coaches in the NFL.

    Belichick is one of the most successful and influential football minds in the history of the league and likely is the most coveted individual—player or coach—in the NFL.

    He could go for it on every single fourth down while wearing a dress and smoking a Cutler-brand cigarette on the sideline, and he still wouldn't get fired.

    I think it's safe to say he'll be around for a while.

Andy Reid

6 of 32

    Last Week: Hot

    After Week 8: On Fire!

    Atlanta proved that they're clearly on a different level than the Eagles on Sunday, after a brutal one-sided defeat. Now Andy Reid must face alarming odds in an uphill battle to save his job. Reid has now transcended the Hot seat, and is On Fire in the first week this status is available. 

    The pressure is clearly on for Andy Reid and Co. from here on out. Reid understands the sense of urgency to not just win, but win now. Don’t be surprised if we see a few personnel and/or lineup changes, including Mike Vick being benched.

    If Reid fails to win some playoff games, his days in Philadelphia are all but over. Right now, it's looking like the Eagles are not even worthy of a playoff spot.

    Some may choose to blame Michael Vick or the underperforming defense; however, Reid has been the mastermind behind just about all the key decisions, including a pass-happy offense that puts Vick at risk of both injury and turnovers.

    He also made the odd decision to make Juan Castillo, once his offensive line coach, the defensive coordinator, even though he had no previous NFL experience on the defensive side of the ball.

Rex Ryan

7 of 32

    Last Week: Warm

    After Week 8: Hot

    The Jets are 1-4 in their last five games, and Rex Ryan is now officially on the Hot seat. Losing 30-9 to a divisional rival didn't make matters any better, and neither has an 11-12 record over the last 23 games.

    It's highly questionable whether the Jets will be able to fully compete with the injuries they have incurred over the last two weeks and the subpar play of Mark Sanchez.

    If they make a habit of losing, it's not out of the question for Jets owner Woody Johnson to clean house, from the GM to the quarterback.

    Perhaps a little Tebow magic is just what the Jets need to salvage a season officially on the decline.

Mike Shanahan

8 of 32

    Last Week: Cool

    After Week 8: Room Temperature

    Though the Redskins are clearly a team on the rise, that didn't keep them from learning some new lessons the hard way by the old men on the block in Pittsburgh.

    Mike Shanahan and the 'Skins are a few pieces away from taking over the NFC East. This likely isn’t the year for that sort of dominance, but don’t expect owner Dan Snyder to ruin a good thing in Washington by starting over with a new coach.

    Given the competitive nature of the team, Shanahan is almost guaranteed to return as head coach next year.

    Most of their success this season can be directly linked to the chemistry between Shanahan and rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. The former has done a fantastic job creating an offense tailored specifically to the unique abilities of RG3.

    It would take a pretty poor season to get Shanahan on the Hot seat, and I don't see that as a likely scenario. If the Redskins are scraping the bottom of the division with some ugly losses by Week 12, though, expect him to be there.

John Harbaugh

9 of 32

    Last Week: Cozy

    After Week 8: Cozy

    In a week of rest, recovery and the search for answers, nothing changes for John Harbaugh's job status.

    A true test of John Harbaugh’s coaching worth is officially underway, as the Ravens must overcome the loss of both their passionate team leader and one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.

    If Harbaugh can find a way to win games and get into the playoffs, he should get consideration for Coach of the Year.

    Clearly, his team's 43-13 butt-spanking by the Texans proves how difficult it’s going to be for Baltimore to continue its early-season success.

    Harbaugh has done a great job winning the games he's supposed to win. The most encouraging thing about the Ravens' early wins was that they came without reigning defensive MVP Terrell Suggs, who returned Sunday and had a sack.

    After winning nearly 69 percent of his regular-season games over four years, Harbaugh’s job status is stable and will be unaffected by the outcome of any one game this season.

    But a loss in two weeks at Cleveland would strip Harbaugh of his Cozy status.

Lovie Smith

10 of 32

    Last Week: Cool

    After Week 8: Cool

    Sunday was one of those games in the NFL when a struggling team comes into town ready to fight with passion and vigor in hopes to sway their negative momentum. The Bears did a solid job holding off the storm and coming out victorious against a determined Cam Newton and the Panthers.

    Lovie Smith has done a nice job with the Bears, winning 57 percent of his games (77-58) in eight-plus seasons as head coach. But considering there's a new general manager in Chicago with a green light to clean house should he choose to, there's added pressure to perform this year.

    For this reason, it would be tough for Smith's status to advance to Cozy for at least a while.

    For the time being, Smith has done everything right and put the brakes on panic talk after some sideline drama was caught on prime-time television involving QB Jay Cutler. Smith has managed to field a consistently competitive team and is not in any immediate danger of feeling warmth.

    However, should signs emerge that his locker room is out of control, that could change quickly.

Marvin Lewis

11 of 32

    Last Week: Warm

    After Week 8: Warm

    Perhaps it's a good thing that Cincinnati has the week off. Maybe a week to self-scout and evaluate will turn the tides of a major slump.

    Marvin Lewis and the Bengals have now fallen below .500, at 3-4, following a close loss to division-rival Pittsburgh. Instead of taking an important step toward AFC North supremacy on Sunday, they failed to perform in the fourth quarter.

    Should Lewis lose his fourth straight game next week, he is most certainly going to find himself on the Hot seat.

    Only Andy Reid and Bill Belichick have coached their teams longer than Lewis has coached his 72-78 Bengals.

    Lewis has been given a lot of time to create a champion, and owner Mike Brown has even given Lewis a lot of control over personnel decisions. But if the Bengals fail to build on last year's success, his window of opportunity is closing.

Jim Schwartz

12 of 32

    Last Week: Hot

    After Week 8: Warm

    In 54 games as the Detroit Lions head coach, Jim Schwartz has gone 21-34. This is a pretty substandard winning percentage of only 38 percent. Schwartz's saving grace has been his ability to improve each year.

    But has he done enough, thus far, to survive a setback season, despite making the playoffs the year before?

    Sunday proved that there's still hope and the Lions can still be a playoff-caliber performer. They really have no glaring weaknesses on either side of the ball with the exception of special teams.

    Detroit needed a full team effort to edge out a 28-24 victory against the Seattle Seahawks, and that's exactly what they got. Jim Schwartz remains in the playoff hunt and needs to keep this momentum going if he is to stay off the Hot seat for good.

Pat Shurmur

13 of 32

    Last Week: Hot

    After Week 8: Warm

    The Browns have now won only two games all season, but there are positive signs indicating these guys are better than their record and are growing as the season goes on.

    There is no denying that was a big win for Shurmur against the Chargers, as he deserves a lot of credit for not allowing his rookie quarterback and offensive coordinator to completely derail.

    The defense played tough and should get the game ball, allowing only six points on the day.

    The Browns and Shurmur have nice tools with which to build upon and are beginning to pile on the young talent to the roster.

    But one thing that must pan out for his regime to continue is the positive development of Brandon Weeden. Rookie quarterbacks who are 28 years old are not afforded the same patience as the more common 22-year-old variety.


Mike McCarthy

14 of 32

    Last Week: Cozy

    After Week 8: Cozy

    Mike McCarthy led his Packers to another victory Sunday. This time, it was a closer-than-expected win against the lowly Jaguars, who have been arguably the worst team in the NFL.

    But a win is a win, especially considering the key injuries the Packers are forced to overcome.

    Green Bay is now on a three-game winning streak, and Aaron Rodgers looks to have returned to his dominating ways of a year ago.

    Most expected the 2012 version of Green Bay to be even more dangerous and complete, but the team has had disappointing results until this most recent performance.

    McCarthy is still a good coach and Rodgers is still the best quarterback in the NFL, so expect the Packers to be major players once again in the postseason. Don't expect McCarthy's seat to get Hot this year.

Mike Tomlin

15 of 32

    Last Week: Cool

    After Week 8: Cozy

    Pittsburgh continues to find a way to win despite injuries to key playmakers on both sides of the ball.

    The path to the playoffs looks to be much more challenging than in years past for the Steelers. This may be the year they find themselves without a playoff spot.

    Either way, Tomlin is almost guaranteed to return as head coach, since the Steelers are only a few pieces away from contention once again. This should minimize the fact that Tomlin was the first coach to fall from his Cozy status a few weeks back, and his status has gone back and forth from Cozy to Cool ever since.

    There's plenty of time for Tomlin to sit pretty again, but the question remains whether the Steelers' 4-3 start is a temporary hiccup or the beginning of a downward trend toward mediocrity. A two-game winning streak is a nice sign of things to come.

Leslie Frazier

16 of 32

    Last Week: Cool

    After Week 8: Cool

    Frazier has likely topped out with a Cool status until he can make the playoffs. Still, Frazier is by far the most improved head coach in terms of his Hot-seat status.

    After the Week 2 loss to the Colts, I had Frazier on the Hot seat. These days, he has moved all the way up to Cool. He may end up proving he can be the Vikings coach for the long haul.

    In Christian Ponder, Frazier seems to have found the guy who can not only save his job, but might be a decent enough quarterback to build a team around.

    The question still remains, though: Are these Vikings for real?

    The one-sided loss to the Bucs on Thursday night may have exposed this team for what they are: an average team that has played above their abilities. Either reality is likely to speak favorably for Coach Frazier.

Gary Kubiak

17 of 32

    Last Week: Cozy

    After Week 8: Cozy

    The Texans had a bye week last week, so there isn't much news on the Hot-seat front for Coach Kubiak.

    In Week 7, Gary Kubiak and the Texans proved they're truly an NFL juggernaut. When Houston hosted a decimated Ravens squad two weeks ago, they definitely smelled blood in the water and went for the kill.

    Standing atop the AFC at 6-1, Kubiak can take pride in seeing years of hard work finally starting to pay off over the last two seasons. Kubiak has slowly built a Super Bowl-caliber team in Houston.

    Kubiak's system and coaching style have been integral to the Texans' success, so don't expect a noticeable change on the Houston sidelines in the foreseeable future.

    Given the team’s consistent improvement through the years, Kubiak has bought himself a lot of leeway. His seat is Cozy and should remain that way for quite some time.

Mike Smith

18 of 32

    Last Week: Cozy

    After Week 8: Get this Man an Extension

    At 7-0, the Atlanta Falcons are the only undefeated team in the NFL. Mike Smith and his "Dirty Bird" entourage have consistently found a way to win, making the Philadelphia Eagles their latest victims in a dominating 30-17 victory in hostile territory.

    The Falcons were firing on all cylinders this past week, so Mike Smith can now enjoy the highest status possible for a coach.

    Smith has never had a losing season during his tenure in Atlanta, but what he still needs to prove is that he can win in the postseason.

    In four years of calling the shots, he has won 70 percent of his games and brought a level of consistency the Falcons organization has never had. Smith's job security is stable and should remain that way for at least the foreseeable future.

Chuck Pagano

19 of 32

    Last Week: Room Temperature

    After Week 8: Room Temperature

    Chuck Pagano has been dealing with life-threatening issues far more serious than the outcome of any football game. He was diagnosed with leukemia and has now been forced to take a leave of absence.

    Pagano, who was/is just getting started in Indy, should remain in the Room-Temperature range for the duration of his inaugural season as head coach.

    However, if the team racks up a ton of victories without him in what's supposed to be a rebuilding year, we may have to question his true value to the team aside from being a rallying cry. Or, we may have to get Bruce Arians a head-coaching job in 2013.

Ron Rivera

20 of 32

    Last Week: Hot

    After Week 8: On Fire

    The Carolina Panthers had high expectations entering the season, hoping to glide to victory on the wings of their young star quarterback. Unfortunately, the team that won six games last year happens to be doing much worse this go-around with a 1-6 record.

    After a heartbreaking loss to the Bears courtesy of a last-second field goal, it should be a challenge for Ron Rivera and the team to rebound emotionally—especially considering the recent firing of GM Marty Hurney.

    To Rivera's credit, he was a few inches away from pulling out a victory against the undefeated Falcons earlier this season, but a Cam Newton fumble put an end to those hopes. He was also one field goal away from beating the first-place Bears as well.

    Rivera's biggest disappointment this year has been the team's struggles on defense. Considering he's a defensive-minded coach, the confusion on that side of the ball is becoming disturbing, to say the least.

Mike Mularkey

21 of 32

    Last Week: Hot

    After Week 8: Hot

    Mike Mularkey fell into the lowly seat known as Hot after losing the battle of 1-4 teams a couple weeks ago. Apparently, Jacksonville can't beat the Raiders, but they can sure put on a good showing against the Packers.

    We also need to consider how many of the franchise's problems stem from its personnel.

    One thing appears clear in Jacksonville: The Jags are not a good team. In Week 5, the Bears embarrassed them in a 41-3 win that had many believing the team had already thrown in the towel.

    To say the least, the Jags don't appear to be fielding a legitimate contender this season. And if Mularkey fails to field a competitive team, he is almost guaranteed to be out of a job. More outings like the one against the Packers could make a case to save Mularkey's job.

Sean Payton

22 of 32

    Last Week: Cozy

    After Week 8: Cozy

    Sean Payton's importance to the Saints is becoming more evident with each passing week. Even though the Saints got their first win in Week 5, the team is clearly missing its mastermind. The team is running around like an unpolished version of themselves.

    This is the irony of Payton's Hot-seat update. He is best served by a poor display by the Saints—exactly the type of play we have seen as they fall to 2-5 on the season.

    Considering Payton may be the second-most important person in the franchise behind only Drew Brees, the Saints may want to begin negotiating a contract extension for him as soon as possible. Soon, that will have to be his status.

Mike Munchak

23 of 32

    Last Week: Room Temperature

    After Week 8: Warm

    Losing to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday sent Munchak's status right back to Warm, where he was two weeks ago.

    It seems Munchak has some ability as a coach, considering that he has fielded a competitive team almost every week despite the minimal talent.

    Munchak's future is tied to the fate of the offense. If coordinator Chris Palmer's unit fails to produce, Munchak could end up on the Hot seat sooner than many expected.

    The 3-5 Titans need to hope and pray Chris Johnson's performance a couple weeks ago wasn't a fluke; but unfortunately, it seems to be the case.


Greg Schiano

24 of 32

    Last Week: Room Temperature

    After Week 8: Room Temperature

    Despite going 3-4, Greg Schiano's hard-fighting Buccaneers are much better than their record. They have outscored their opponents 184-153. This is the sign of a talented team on the verge of turning things around. The wins should come eventually.

    This is not a team generally looked at as one that needs a lot of time to rebuild. The Buccaneers may be one of the younger squads in the league, but they also are extremely talented, with three promising rookies in Mark Barron, Doug Martin and Lavonte David.

    They also brought in high-profile, free-agent wideout Vincent Jackson to be the go-to receiver.

    Schiano has made his mark on this once undisciplined team, as they have one of the best turnover margins in the NFL at plus-seven.

John Fox

25 of 32

    Last Week: Cool

    After Week 8: Cool

    With the addition of Peyton Manning, the Broncos should be one of the most dangerous AFC teams as we head nearer to the postseason. That's why expectations are extremely high in Denver.

    John Fox’s squad would have to implode for him to be in trouble. As of right now, his Broncos have won two straight as they sit respectably with a 4-3 record.

    Denver came off what appeared to be a productive bye week to face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday Night Football. This was a complete team effort by the Broncos, as they won handily 34-14. 

    Coach Fox has the team headed in the right direction and could end up sitting Cozy if he finds himself in the playoffs for the second straight season.

Ken Whisenhunt

26 of 32

    Last Week: Room Temperature

    After Week 8: Cool with a win Monday night; Room Temperature with a loss

    Monday Night Football should be a stellar matchup between two elite defenses. Whichever defense proves to be more dominant will almost certainly win the game.

    Whisenhunt will have to find a way to account for this offense's glaring weakness up front on the line.

    After a 4-0 start, the Cardinals have dropped three games in a row.

    Whisenhunt has done his best with what's available. However, let us not forget the role he played in creating this lackluster quarterback situation by releasing Matt Leinart, bringing in Kevin Kolb with a big free-agent contract and failing to add any help on the offensive line.

    The Cardinals may have a solid defense, but they have one of the worst offenses in the NFL. Still, they started the season by beating three teams they had no business competing against, and that is a sign of solid coaching.

    Two weeks ago, I said if Whisenhunt were to lose his third straight, his status would be downgraded. Well, that time has come. A win on Monday would restore his Cool status, but a win against the 49ers won't come easy.

Jeff Fisher

27 of 32

    Last Week: Room Temperature

    After Week 8: Room Temperature

    Although we can't bash the Rams too hard for losing to the red-hot Packers, which dropped Fisher's status to Room Temperature, we can bash the Rams for their terrible showing against the New England Patriots across the sea in England.

    The Rams are now 3-5 and headed in the wrong direction. Luckily, the Rams have their franchise QB in Sam Bradford and can build around him for the next 10 years.

    All indications seem to point toward Fisher being a big part of that process, so his coaching status should remain relatively safe.

Romeo Crennel

28 of 32

    Last Week: Hot

    After Week 8: On Fire

    Things are getting pretty ugly in Kansas City, and Matt Cassel's absence or presence proved that the problem is much bigger than the quarterback position. Losing to Oakland on Sunday may be the new low point for the Chiefs, who seem to be failing at every phase of the game.

    Scott Pioli and the Chiefs organization expected immediate success this season, given the obvious talent on the roster. Unfortunately, starting the season with a 1-6 record that consists mostly of blowout losses already has Crennel under fire.

    It seems that finishing with a winning record is the only outcome that can save Crennel's job for 2013. As of right now, his seat is On Fire, and he's in immediate danger of not finishing the season.

    As for GM Scott Pioli, this is likely the last head coach he will hire in Kansas City.

Jim Harbaugh

29 of 32

    Last Week: Cozy

    After Week 8: "Get this Man an Extension" if they win Monday, but will remain "Cozy" with a loss

    San Francisco was able to rebound by winning a defensive battle against the Seahawks two weeks ago, which was a great rebound game following a loss to the Giants the week before.

    Regardless, Harbaugh's job status remains extremely safe. Getting the 49ers to the NFC title game last year in his first year and creating a distinct identity for his team as a tough group with an old-school mentality, blended perfectly with trickery and creativity, has him completely safe.

    Harbaugh’s turnaround and general leadership are hard to ignore. He will have to endure a series of terrible losses for anything to change his status this year.

Dennis Allen

30 of 32

    Last Week: Room Temperature

    After Week 8: Room Temperature

    Dennis Allen and his Raiders have now won three of their last five games and seem to be finding some winning formulas. Going into Kansas City and pulling out a win seems to be a message to the rest of the league.

    Frankly, Oakland is lucky to have won three games, but wins are wins in the NFL, and Allen has a lot to be proud of heading into Week 9.

    The last thing Raiders fans want to endure is another season as the most dysfunctional team in the NFL.

    The good news is the Raiders look like they're playing smart, disciplined football, fighting all the way to the end (at least, most of the time).

    The Raiders are 3-4. Regardless of the record, Allen will be judged on his ability to make the team competitive in every game while showing improvement as the season progresses.

Pete Carroll

31 of 32

    Last Week: Cool

    After Week 8: Room Temperature

    With a 28-24 loss to the Lions, the Seahawks have now dropped two in a row. They currently sit at .500 with a 4-4 record.

    Seattle seemed ready to contend for the playoffs. Pete Carroll is trying to prove he is more than willing to do what it takes to get them there, even if it means benching Matt Flynn, the big free-agent QB acquisition in favor of Russell Wilson, the shrimpy third-round rookie.

    Carroll has also built perhaps the league's most feared secondary. But there just doesn't seem to be enough weapons offensively to truly compete with the big boys this year. They can, however, stay competitive in any game on any day.

    Coach Carroll's neutral record is directly reflecting his now-neutral job status.

Norv Turner

32 of 32

    Last Week: Hot

    After Week 8: On Fire 

    Norv Turner's job is all but lost, which is why he has the most severe of all available job statuses. He would have had this status on Week 1, but it wasn't available until this week.

    The only way he can keep his job is if he gets San Diego to the AFC Championship Game. Anything less, and it’s "Adios, Mr. Turner." But if the Chargers can win enough games, there is a good chance his seat could cool down before long.

    As of right now, the seat doesn’t get hotter for a head coach sitting at 3-4. They have now lost three consecutive games.

    Turner has nearly worn out his welcome in San Diego and was only retained after last season because of desperate pleas by Philip Rivers, who lobbied heavily to give the coach one last chance.

    The organization has completely lost its patience and is all but set for a complete overhaul from the top down. This means that even if the Chargers make the playoffs, Turner's status will likely be Hot heading into that game.

    Should he fail to win, we should assume there will be a head-coaching vacancy in San Diego days after the season's end.